More funds for public health

TORONTO – Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is getting a little extra money from the provincial government this year.

“Our public health units help ensure we have healthy and vibrant communities,” Perth-Wellington MPP Matthew Rae said in a May 7 news release announcing the funding. 

“This additional funding will ensure our public health units can continue to provide valuable services for our rural communities.

In total WDGPH received $469,700 in funding. That includes $150,800, representing a one-per-cent increase in base funding as part of a previous commitment from the province to restore annual base funding to public health units to a level previously provided under the 75% provincial, 25% municipal cost-sharing ratio. 

It also includes $318,900 in one-time funding.

Contacted by email, a representative from Rae’s office could not say why the funding was announced this month or how it would be used.

“Health units have a board of directors and a chief medical officer of health that are responsible for the allocation of funding and day-to-day operations,” Rae stated in an email.

WDGPH communications specialist Danny Williamson stated in an email the health unit has 34 programs that are jointly funded by the province and the municipalities it serves, with funds allocated based on direction provided by the board of health and “organizational priorities.”

He said the one-time funding “primarily comprises a reimbursement from the province for COVID-19-pandemic-related costs that were incurred by [WDGPH] earlier in 2023.”